Special Educational Needs
The Children’s Act 2014
The Legislation and Code of Practice together seek a wholesale cultural change towards a person-centred, outcome-focused and future focused planning for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Some specific changes are:
- The Code of Practice 2014 covers the 0-25 years age range.
- There is a clearer focus on the views of children and young people and their role in decision making
- It includes guidance on the joint planning and commissioning of services to ensure close co-operation between education, health services and social care.
- School Action and School Action + will be replaced with one new category called ‘SEN Support’ across all phases of education.
- For children and young people with more complex needs a co-ordinated assessment process and the new 0-25 Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan) replace statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs).
Education, Health and Care Plan is 20 weeks, reduced from the current process to produce a statement of special educational needs, which is 26 weeks.
- There is new guidance on the support pupils and students should receive in education and training settings.
- There is a greater focus on support that enables those with SEN to succeed in their education and make a successful transition to adulthood.
The definition of SEN remains the same.
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
- has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
Special Educational Provision is defined as educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, mainstream post-16 institutions or by relevant early years providers. At Tutshill C of E this means provision that goes beyond the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements normally provided as part of high quality, personalised teaching.
Improving outcomes: high aspirations and expectations for children and young people with SEN
At Tutshill C of E we fully agree with the Code of Practice when it states in Chapter 6 that :
All children and young people are entitled to an education that enables them to make progress so that they:
• achieve their best
• become confident individuals living fulfilling lives, and
• make a successful transition into adulthood, whether into employment, further or higher education or training
We therefore use our best endeavours to make sure that a child with SEN gets the support they need – this means doing everything we can to meet children and young people’s SEN.
- We ensure that children and young people with SEN engage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEN.
- We have a designated teacher responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision, our SENCO Mrs V Mackey.
- We not only inform parents when we make a special educational provision we actively involve them in the planning and review of the provision.
- The identification of SEN is built in to our overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all pupils.
Identification of individual need and SEN
Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, even where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff.
Paragraph 6.17 of the code states that:
Class and subject teachers, supported by the senior leadership team, should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These should seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which:
• is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
• fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
• fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
• widens the attainment gap
The code also states that it can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make a successful transition to adult life.
High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is our first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN. The quality of teaching for pupils with SEN, and the progress made by pupils, is a core part of the school’s performance management arrangements and our approach to professional development for all teaching and support staff.
Class and subject teachers, supported by the senior leadership team, make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. Where pupils are falling behind or making inadequate progress given their age and starting point they are given extra support.
Where pupils continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness, the class teacher, working with the SENCO will assess whether the child has a significant learning difficulty. Where this is the case, then we will reach an agreement, involving the family where possible, about the SEN support that is required to support the child.
We will make sure that while we may be informally gathering evidence (including the views of the pupil and their parents) there will be no delay in putting in place extra teaching or other rigorous interventions designed to secure better progress, where required. The pupil’s response to such support can help identify their particular needs.